Cloud VoIP

Most of the “cloud basedVoIP solutions involve putting the software running the switches and gateways on the cloud.  For now lets not confuse these services with cloud based voip calling services.  Here our focus is on cloud based PBX solutions.  These are basic call handling software appliances which are capable of routing calls into different endpoints (which could be either physical desktop sets or web based call managers  or mobile handsets) .  The “cloud” part of the solution involve several aspects but the most important ones are :

1. Access to large resources like bandwidth, hard disk and memory ( real time traffic like voice cannot have latency and/or delays )

2.  Security for signaling traffic

3. Redundancy and high availability

4.  Scalability for customers who want to grow their installations ( or remove idle machine usage during holidays etc )

Key features expected in a IP-PBX solution :

Lets assume we use a combination of Amazon EC2 and Asterisk to implement a cloud based VoIP solution.    Amazon has solved the persistent data issue and IP address loss issues with EBS and Elastic IP addresses respectively. Both of these are vital to the running of a VoIP ‘instance’ because it needs storage for voice mails, logs, DB etc.  Also IP addresses cannot be dynamic since everytime the instance was shutdown, the next iteration would yield new hostnames and IP addresses.   Asterisk is chosen  for its open source ability to be hacked up on a server.  Here is a quick cost breakdown for such an installation.  Phones are needed to make this configuration work as opposed to a pure desktop call manager topology.


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